1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Samuel Smith's India Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,417 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1417
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001)
View: Beers (28) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,417 | Reviews: 844 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of fscottkey

New York

2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a reddish tinge to it. Sports a 1 finger bubbly cap that dissipates quickly.

S: More subdued that I anticipated. Some fruits like apple and apricot.

T: I am hit with a spice that I can't place on the initial sip. Same thing on the second sip. There is some bitterness and no sweetness to even it out. I am getting fruit flavors, orange and grapefruit.

M: Cool and crisp all the way through.

O: This is a mildly bitter beer with nothing to balance it out. No sweetness or hops to give any other character. I like Samuel Smith's as a brewery - but this is not their best offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 02:56:14 | More by fscottkey
Photo of TucsonTom


4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I guess I have a soft spot for what Samuel Smith brews. Perhaps it's their old timey labels. Or maybe it's their story about using "stone Yorkshire squares fermenting vessels". I dunno.

But I think they make some mighty tasty beer with low ABVs, 5% in the case of this English IPA.

This beer looks perfect, smells great (if you know you're not going to find Northwest American hops), has wonderful mouthfeel and is tasty to the last room-temp sip.

It was also nice that it was on sale for $3.33 for their bomber.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 23:54:15 | More by TucsonTom
Photo of dcmchew


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-golden pour, big fluffy head with big bubbles, like honey comb.
Smell: grainy malts, pinch of salt, apple peel, dried up flowers, English hops.
Taste is a mix of rich robust biscuity malts and very bitter dry hops . Some fruitiness throughout, with apple, pear and faint apricot, citrus, bit of wood, some pine. English hops dominate most of the taste, from dry autumn leaves, to dry tobacco and a bit of unwanted metal.
Medium carbonation and body, a tiny bit oily, goes down well.
Not sure if it's too bland or very traditional, for me it feels like one of the original IPAs, an extra-hopped British ale to survive the long trip to India, thus a bit.. "clumsy".

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 16:55:30 | More by dcmchew
Photo of theteleman


3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from PW Mart in Poway. Pours orangey/light amber with a decent white head and good lacing. Smells fruity with some malty backbone. Nice taste, hoppy(not American West Coast hoppy), fruity and more malts then I'm used to in an India Ale. Very smooth, pleasent on the palate. Havent had a bad beer by Samuel Smith yet, this one is very nice, really liking the different flavors found in this brew, nothing like the typical IPA's in these parts, a nice change.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 03:11:51 | More by theteleman
Photo of Flounder57


3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz bottle was poured in a pint glass at Doyle's in J.P.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that for the most part is still there. It is a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Slight citrus, herbal, and floral aroma with toasted and caramel malts in the rear.

Taste: Same as above with balance between hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, tingly bitterness, medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid EIPA. I dig it. Another good installment from the Samuel Smith brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 01:12:51 | More by Flounder57
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into an English pub glass. Notably light in color, a gold yellow with a formidable dull white head that holds its shape. Aroma is floral and fruity, reminiscent of black tea, dried apricots, perhaps some unlit tobacco, faint citrus rind. Some classic English hop aroma but overall the smell is restrained. Palate features a similarly downplayed malt backbone that manifests as caramel and popcorn with the odd toasty protuberance, a hint of treacle, a fruity floral bubble gum element (or perhaps grape popsicle?), and the black tea/dried fruit notes from the nose. Gentle on the mouth despite the aggressive head and carbonation, smooth and featuring the unusual Samuel Smith diacetyl caress that works so well in their brews. Body on the thin side. Finishes semi-dry, including a lingering sweetness as well as a mineral bite. Some forest floor type hop effects. Overall, my impression is favorable. Some unique hop and yeast-derived flavors which grew on me as I made my way through an initially mellow and murky pint in which I struggled to pinpoint the specific flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 16:13:50 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Smith's 'India Ale' @ 5.0% , served from a 550 ml bottle that was part of the SS gift box purchased for $15

A-pour is gold from the bottle to glass with a medium size off-white head which is leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-floral , sweet malt

T-smooth crisp clean , lacking a punch

MF-mild carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , decent English IPA , bit mellow

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 07:36:07 | More by LampertLand
Photo of BeersIsTheName


3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served cold poured in a pilsner.

A- Golden orange hue with a full four finger head.

S- More malty than an average IPA. Somewhat of what I can only describe as a "sour" smell, but not in a bad way.

T- Complex and flavorful. Balanced with the hops, barley, and yeast. Not a strong IPA like you would expect.

M- Good carbonation. Light bite. Even though served from a bottle it has a draft feel.

O- Not what you would expect an IPA to be. This is not to say that it is not good, because it is. It just isn't what you would get with a traditional APA or IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 00:41:01 | More by BeersIsTheName
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 550 ml bottle to a pint glass.

The beer pours a pale and clear gold with a foamy two finger head that breaks quickly leaving wisps of foam behind. The smell is mild, much different than a typical American IPA mostly malts followed by hops afterwards. The taste is sweet and malty, more typical of an English bitter to my palate than an IPA. Mouth feel is medium body with medium carbonation.

This is a session ale if I have ever had one... It reminds me so much of the other British pub ales I have had and that is not a bad thing, but if you are expecting an American IPA look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 21:17:48 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of Badger6


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an English Pint (18.7 oz) bottle from a gift box that included a Samuel Smith English tulip pint to enjoy this beer.

A: Crystal clear bod, bronze-amber in color. The head rises fast and frothy and is colored pure white, it recedes only slightly into a dense, rocky covering on the top of the beer, holding about half of its volume for over 15 minutes.

S: Distinctly malty, with a fruity and hoppy complement.

T: Does not follow the nose, exactly. Malty with a distinct aromatic floral flavor, not fruits, on the front. Quickly gives over to a pronounced, but not harsh, hop bite. Crisp, bitter finish. No unsavory aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of moderate, with a dry finish. Lots of carbonation buzz.

O: This is a hard beer to rate. Having consumed numerous American IPAs, this is distinctly different. I think overtime it could win me over for the sheer fact that the English invented IPA so they could ship beer to India without spoilage. The hop flavors are not as pronounced as an AIPA, yet the bitterness is much more distinct. The flavor is nice, but does not stand out. Though, I would like to try this again paired against some spicy Indian or Thai fare to see how it holds up; with the bitterness, I suspect it will perform quite well. Will definitely try this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 21:59:05 | More by Badger6
Photo of scotorum


4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 18.7 oz. gift set bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a; Clear dark gold with a two inch tall white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Moderate pine resin.

t: A pleasant floral up front over moderate hop bite. Later with hints of cardboard or drywall paste which turns grassy.

m: Light to moderate. Considerable carbonation tingle.

o: A different sort of English IPA, with more hop flavors and bitterness than I expected, otherwise rather light in color if not mouthfeel for an English IPA. Still in all a different and tasty brew, a credit to the venerable Samuel Smith lineup. Stands up well against the average hoppy American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 05:53:10 | More by scotorum
Photo of angusdegraosta

New York

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid copper color. The hops and malt are subtle but readily apparent in the smell. The taste is all English - I don't know if it is as typically strong as other English IPAs, but it is thoroughly pleasant. The mouthfeel is extraordinary - no heavy bitter aftertaste. The well-integrated hops are present as you savor, not afterward. The malt and a little balanced sweetness are what stays with you. This gets solid points for being an extremely drinkable beer - not epically brilliant, but really fantastic for a session. I will get this again without question.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 22:56:59 | More by angusdegraosta
Photo of Michaelcbyrnes


3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep golden with creamy white head

Aroma - malty with a hint of orange rind, floral and fruity hop aroma

Taste/ mouthfeel - full round caramel but not sweet with a floral/ earthy hoppiness with an airy lightness which finishes dry and on a malty note.

Overall - really nice British IPA with a great malt quality the hops are subtle but well balanced. Just a really pleasant British IPA to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 03:00:13 | More by Michaelcbyrnes
Photo of jmdrpi


3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, no date

a bright crystal clear copper color, whispy off-white head. aroma is fairly strong and hoppy, but I don't dig the actual smell - it's a bit too earthy. taste is a bit too herbal and earthy for me as well for an IPA. I know it's an English IPA, but the flavors just don't work too well. decent malt balance. medium body and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 04:40:19 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of clarknova


2.24/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured from a 355ml bottle

a - cloudy light-brown ale with just a little head

s - slight citrus aroma, barely malty

t - light body with far too little malt, no fruits and slightly bitter aftertaste with no special hops

m - a bit fizzy champagne-like mouthfeel, very light

o - a nothing special beer I will forget quickly

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 10:23:33 | More by clarknova
Photo of admiral


4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

superb beer - well balanced and an outstanding example of the style.

aroma: citrus-bready-malty-champagne yeast

taste: rich, malty, mineral, dark fruit, caramel, raisins, slight citrus, wine, slight banana liquor and slight vanilla

I associate Samuel Smith with quality and this beer is another example of a great quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 09:41:41 | More by admiral
Photo of FLima


3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick off-white head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Light aroma of papaya, caramel and bready malt.
Sweet malty flavor, not that hoppy, but quite fruity. Notes of toasted malts, papaya, caramel, flowers, a mild citrusy and spices. Finishing with hints of pine. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with medium carbonation.
A traditional English IPA, don't expect a hop soup. It is a malty beer if compared to nowadays IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 23:48:37 | More by FLima
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 mL bottle from a sampler pack picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. This brewery has not disappointed me yet, and as an IPA fan I am psyched to sample their interpretation of a style that is often forgotten by fans of those intensely citrusy, resiny American-style hop bombs.

Pours a bright golden-orange colour, topped with nearly two fingers of puffy, frothy white head. It takes more than a few minutes for it to die down completely, leaving a modest cap and collar behind, with copious quantities of sticky lacing. The aroma is quite floral and slightly fruity, with notes of lemony citrus, pale malts, tea leaves and freshly-cut grass. Appropriate for the style, and quite enticing.

This is an unassuming IPA - not likely to grab the attention of fans of the American style, but enjoyable nonetheless. The malt backbone is light and bready, with notes of caramel followed quickly by the drying effects of the grassy, leafy English hops. Quite dry in the aftertaste, with some mineral notes. Medium-bodied, with dense, prickly carbonation that gives this beer a lively mouthfeel. I could drink this quickly, but the bitter aftertaste is best countered with slow, deliberate sips and some sort of snack food.

Final Grade: 3.94, a B+. Samuel Smith's India Ale is a finely crafted ale, but it really isn't blowing me away as this brewery so often manages - this might be my least favourite Samuel Smith's brew so far. Reminds me strongly of Wells IPA, except with a much more appealing aroma and complex hop bill - this brew provides plenty of leafy English hop bitterness, which may or may not appeal to fans of the American style. You'll have to judge this one on your own. I still like this beer, and would recommend it as a solid example of the style, but it's not a must-try.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 02:19:01 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

18.7oz bottle poured into a pint glass. After looking up the date code Im pretty sure this beer was bottled 8/21/2012 :(

A: Clear amber body with a creamy beige colored head. Lots of lacing

S: Lots of malt scent up front. I can also pick up some floral scent as well as hops. Maybe some citrus.

T: Malty taste, as well as bitter hops. Bread flavor as this warmed up. I would have enjoyed it more if it had greater complexity.

M: this beer is very silky and has a creamy mouthfeel. There is a bitter after taste.

O: I drank this 14 months from when it was bottled so that could have affected my review. This is a decent beer, and probably my first British style IPA, however it is lacking in the areas of complexity, as well as ABV. This beer isn't exactly session able yet the ABV is in the range of a session beer. If i see this again and its fresh I will probably pick it up to give it another shot.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 21:01:36 | More by watermelon
Photo of tmm313


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Amber brown color. 2 finger, semi-creamy head. Good lacing.

Smell: Very malt forward. Mainly caramel and dark fruit. There's some floral going on, too. Really sweet. Hops show up in the back. As it warms, there seems to be a sweet hop scent as well.

Taste: Front-end is malty and strangely dry. Middle is really bready with some pine resin mixed in. Finish is mainly dry, piney bitterness. Touch of dank.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium. Kind of watery. Oily finish with dry, lingering bitterness.

Overall: I bought this because I truly love some of the other beers by Samuel Smith's, but this one just doesn't compare. I'm not saying its bad, but to me, it is definitely pretty plain. Glad to say I tried it, but I won't be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 21:07:35 | More by tmm313
Photo of a0lbudman


3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Clear Dark gold to light amber with a good white head that leaves the glass with a lace as it goes down
S-hops with a light orange peel smell
T-medium hop flavor with a medium malt flavor. Then it turns to a hop aftertaste that fades to a sweet malt finish
M-medium body with a ok carbonation
O-this beer is not as hoppy as an American IPA and has a malt flavor that blends well in the mouth, yet it leaves you with a good hop aftertaste

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 02:42:09 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of T100Mark


3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great looking 12 ounce bottle (not a Euro weenie bottle) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A nice copper color. Slightly hazy. Moderate head with moderate stickage. A fine looking ale.

Smell - A blend of malt sweetness and hoppy citrus. A bit of an herbal smell, also.

Taste - Malt sweetness. Hops. Angostura bitters.

Mouth - Smooth. Oily. Good carbonation.

Overall - An English IPA with a twist. The beer has a rather aggressive "burnt toast" flavor to it. Interesting yet drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 01:20:26 | More by T100Mark
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis


3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Hazy light amber with 2 fingers of off white head. Bitter hops and malt in the nose. The flavor is very mild, with not a large hop presence. Mild English hops are balanced by a slightly sweet malt, and there is a surprising amount of bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. It was a bit watery tasting, however. A decent beer from Sam Smith's but one of my least favorites from them. I'll stick with oatmeal stout and RIS.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 20:10:43 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of BeerDocT


3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance 3.75: Poured out with a decent (1/4") head. Deep golden color with OK lacing. Completely translucent.

Smell 3.25: Muted bouquet. I smell a deep maltiness, but strangely, very little hops. There is a certain floral nose to this beer that is pleasant.

Taste 4.0: Front is deep, malty and somewhat dry. Middle features a distinct biscuity taste (probably from the yeast, I'm thinking, rather than the malt) and a hard to identify -somewhat bitter-- maltiness. Finish is dry, and features a big punch of chlorophyll-flavored British hops. These hops are focused more on flavor than alkalinity. This fades slowly into a pleasant aftertaste where a distinct alkaline bite creeps in sticks around for a bit before fading into a pleasant malt taste.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Right on the nose for this style and the tastes they are trying to accentuate.

Overall 3.75: Great beer and a fantastic introduction to the ancestor of America's current brewing obsession, the IPA. This beer is not hop-focused and in fact it seems that certain special malts (and perhaps a yeast strain) have been chosen for their ability to mask -or, perhaps, better match-- the large number of hops used in this brew. This is a malty, biscuity, somewhat dry brew, but it is very refreshing and would be excellent with food. Certainly worth a try for any of my fellow "Continental" hop-heads, but taste it with an education about what you are drinking. This is not an American IPA and that is not a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 04:41:30 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of stella77artois

New York

3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pilsener glass.

A - Pours a light brown-amber, doesn't change much in light. Beer is fairly hazy, and lot's of carbonation shows. A 2" inch head appeared after a slightly aggressive pour. Lot's of large bubbles in the head, a "loose" looking head I guess you'd say.

S - Lot's of malt and yeast up front. Very malty. Only a touch of hops, didn't realize that English IPA's were this much LESS hoppy than the America versions. Well, at least this one was. Also hints late of a general fruitiness, especially that of dark fruits.

T - The malt and ferment were noticeable up front, with just a touch of hops. Aftertaste is slightly fruity. Has a lot of the same qualities of a lager. The flavor itself is not bad. As it warmed, the fruitiness became more prevalent. Not a bad tasting beer, but a little lacking in the flavor department, a tad bit watery for my taste.

F - A pretty refreshing beer, easy on the throat and stomach. Fizz fix from the carbonation. Tasty yet easy to drink.

O - A decent beer, my first English IPA. I will say I prefer the hoppier American version, but I'd like to sample others from this style. I like the maltiness, which gives it a lager feel to an extent. The taste itself mixes lot's of malt and fruitiness, and the taste isn't bad, it's just a bit watery. Decent beer, I can see myself drinking it again, but I won't actively seek it.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 17:13:48 | More by stella77artois
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.